Gujarat HC Judge refuses to hear Hardik Patel's petition

Gujarat HC Judge refuses to hear Hardik Patels petition

Ahmedabad, Justice RP Dholaria of Gujarat High Court on Wednesday refused to hear the petition of Congress and PAAS leader Hardik Patel, in which he had sought a stay on the conviction by a local court in Mahesana district in a rioting case of July 2015, so that he can contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Justice Dholaria said 'not before me' and recused himself from hearing the matter. The matter would be handed over to another judge for hearing. Notably, Justice Dholaria, in August last year, also recused himself from hearing a petition by Patidar Anamat Aandolan Samiti (PAAS) in which it was alleged that the police were creating hurdles for Hardik Patel's indefinite fast by restricting his supporters to meet him. Justice Dholaria a senior judge and coincidentally a Patidar himself and native of Khamba taluka in Patidar dominant Amreli district of Saurashtra region in Gujarat. Hardik's counsel Rafik Lokhandwala said, 'We have made a prayer before the court to put a stay on the conviction and the sentence against Hardik so that he could contest the next LS poll without any fear of rejection of his nomination'. Notably, as per existing law a person convicted in any case with a jail term of two years or above can't contest an election. Mr Patel, who had formally joined Congress on Tuesday, had filed the petition in the High Court on March 8 to get a stay on the conviction by a local court in Mahesana district in a rioting case of July 2015, so that he can contest in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The case was pertaining to the violence, arson and attack on the office of the then local BJP MLA Rushikesh Patel in Visnagar town of Mahesana district during a pro quota rally of PAAS on July 23, 2015. A local court had on July 25 last year held Hardik Patel, SPG leader Lalji Patel and another Patidar leader A K Patel guilty in the case and sentenced two years of simple imprisonment and imposed Rs 50 thousand fine.

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